Indian Art

India should walk on her own shadow – we must have our own development model. (Abdul Kalam)

Shiva’s guardian is Nandi (the white bull), whose statue can often be seen watching over the main shrine.  The bull is said to embody sexual energy, fertility.  Riding on Nandi’s back, Shiva is in control of these impulses.
Brass Nandi Statue

The Thiruvalluvar Statue is a 133 feet (40.6 m) tall stone sculpture of the Tamil poet and saint Tiruvalluvar, author of the Thirukkural. It was opened on January 1, 2000 (Millennium) and is located atop a small island near the town of Kanyakumari, where two seas and an ocean meet; the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean . The statue has a height of 95 feet (29 m) and stands upon a 38 foot (11.5 m) pedestal that represents the 38 chapters of “virtue” in the Thirukkural. The statue standing on the pedestal represents “wealth” and “pleasures”, signifying that wealth and love be earned and enjoyed on the foundation of solid virtue.

The combined height of the statue and pedestal is 133 feet (40.5 m), denoting the 133 chapters in the Thirukkural. It has a total weight of 7000 tons.

The statue, with its slight bend around the waist is reminiscent of a dancing pose of the ancient Indian deities like Nataraja. It was sculpted by the Indian sculptor Dr. V. Ganapati Sthapati, who also created the Iraivan Temple.

This monument was hit by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of December 26, 2004.

Śri Sathya Sai Baba (born as Sathyanarayana Raju (23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011) was an Indian guru, spiritual figure, mystic, philanthropist and educator. He claimed to be the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi who was considered a spiritual saint and a miracle worker, whose teachings were an eclectic blend of Hindu and Muslim beliefs, and who died in 1918.

The materializations of vibhuti (holy ash) and other small objects such as rings, necklaces and watches by Sathya Sai Baba were a source of both fame and controversy; devotees considered them signs of divinity, while skeptics viewed them as simple conjuring tricks. He died with a net worth of US$50 billion after giving most of his money away to his charities and institutions.

Photos of Sathya Sai Baba are displayed in millions of homes and on car dashboards. Lockets bearing his photo are worn by many as a symbol of good fortune and are often kept in wallets for spiritual protection. Sai Baba had ashrams in 126 countries and also ran a network of hospitals, clinics and schools that were often free.

Samantabhadra (Sanskrit: समन्तभद्र; literally Universal Worthy), is a bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism associated with Buddhist practice and meditation. Together with Shakyamuni Buddha and fellow bodhisattva Manjusri he forms the Shakyamuni trinity in Buddhism. He is the patron of the Lotus Sūtra and, according to the Avataṃsaka Sūtra, made the ten great vows which are the basis of a bodhisattva. In China, Samantabhadra is associated with action, whereas the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī is associated with wisdom. In Japan this bodhisattva is often venerated by the Tendai and Shingon sects, and as the protector of the Lotus Sūtra by the Nichiren sect.

In the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana, Samantabhadra is considered a primordial Buddha in indivisible yab-yum union with his consort Samantabhadri.

Shakti (Devanagari: शक्ति; from Sanskrit shak, “to be able”), meaning sacred force or empowerment, is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism. Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as ‘The Great Divine Mother’ in Hinduism. On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form.

Not only is the Shakti responsible for creation, it is also the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force. Shakti exists in a state of svātantrya, dependence on no-one, being interdependent with the entire universe.

In Shaktism, Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being. However, in other Hindu traditions of Shaivism and Vaishnavism, Shakti embodies the active feminine energy Prakriti of Purusha, who is Vishnu in Vaishnavism or Shiva in Shaivism. Vishnu’s female counterpart is called Lakshmi, with Parvati being the female half of Shiva.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s